Candidates knocked off this year’s ballot because of an S.C. Supreme Court ruling have just a few days left to try to get back on.
State House and Senate candidates can secure a place on the Nov. 6 ballot by collecting signatures and turning them over to the State Election Commission in Columbia by noon Monday.
Local petition candidates must file signatures by that deadline with their county election office.
Those with enough signatures — either 5 percent of the active voters in their district or 10,000, whichever is less — will get their name on the ballot without any party label next to it.
Charleston lawyer Walter Hundley, a Senate District 41 candidate, is collecting signatures in case fellow Republican and former Charleston County Councilman Paul Thurmond is kicked off the ballot. If Thurmond remains on, Hundley said he would not campaign and instead would encourage voters to support Thurmond against Democrat and former Charleston City Councilman Paul Tinkler.
Hundley said he is keeping his law office at 1517 Sam Rittenberg Blvd. open 24 hours a day until 9 a.m. Monday to collect signatures. “I’m just trying to give voters a choice,” he said Friday.
Carol Tempel, who filed as a Democrat for the House District 115 seat held by Republican Rep. Peter McCoy, announced Thursday that she already has turned in petitions with almost 2,000 signatures to get back on the ballot.
Samuel Rivers, who had filed as a Republican candidate for the House District 15 seat, also has filed petitions, Charleston County Voter Registration and Elections Director Joseph Debney said.
In Dorchester County, County Council candidate Miriam Birdsong, a Democrat, has handed in her signatures.
Birdsong, Tempel and Rivers were among more than 200 Republican and Democratic candidates across South Carolina who were knocked off the ballot in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling. The ruling clarified conflicting state laws about filing Statement of Economic Interests forms, and those candidates who didn’t do it right were deemed ineligible.
Many of the ineligible candidates have vowed to get back on the ballot as petitions candidates, but it’s unclear how many will succeed.
Reach Robert Behre at 937-5771.